Inkscape text problem with fengrave import

I am trying to 2.5d engrave/carve a front panel for a small electronics project (a prototype UGS pendant). I’ve made this process work before, so am not sure what is going wrong now. I spent the entire weekend troubleshooting and cannot for the life of me figure out what I’m missing on this project.

Step one works fine…save a copy of the SVG, delete everything that is not a hole, upload svg to Easel for carving the button and LED holes. Perfect.

Step two is where I am having issue. Export PNG from Inkscape containing only the text labels. Then import the .png in F-Engrave to generate engraving toolpaths. The text comes in blurry/fuzzy/irregular/not crisp.

I suspect the issue has something to do with anti-aliasing. For example, here are three screenshots. First one is the raw SVG being edited in Inkscape, zoomed to 1500%, the crisp clear edges are beautiful. Next one is the exported PNG viewed in Edge, MS Photo, and Chrome, all three exhibit the blurry antialiasing around the edges as I zoom. The final screenshot is F-Engrave after importing the PNG via “Open DXF/Bitmap”, in “engrave” mode.

It comes out the same whether I export the text as text or if converted to a path with “Path -> Object to Path”.

I feel bad pestering the forum with this issue, as I normally am able to resolve carving problems by reading the existing solutions you all have shared in the past, but this one really has me at wit’s end.

Inkscape editor zoomed to 1500%…

EDGE, Photo, Chrome viewing exported png (and zoomed to various levels). Please forgive my mouse handwriting in red color…

F-Engrave toolpath is not crisp…

Here is the raw SVG in case that helps illustrate the problem

OK, so I can’t seem to upload the raw SVG :frowning:


You have to zip and upload or paste a link from somewhere like google drive.

I suggest you read up on the difference between pixel and vector graphics.

You should not export your text labels to png, but to a vector format as well. Then there is no need to trace the bitmaps and you’ll have a perfect letter.

Yes, but unfortunately, F-Engrave doesn’t have much support for vector formats which is unfortunate — since this is just text, why not set the text directly in F-Engrave? I actually made a custom font to use F-Engrave to V Carve the dial on one project a while back:

Alternately, for Inkscape / SVG software choices include various things listed at: or gcodetools — see:

Thank you all for the advice. Here is a zipped up copy of the .svg, although it is in a slightly different state than when I posted last night, since I kept fiddling with it trying again and again. (2.3 KB)

@anon68752607 I appreciate the pixel/vector heads up. Looking at it, .dxf is a vector format, so in inkscape I saved as .dxf, and as you say, the import into fengrave is crystal clear. On to carving…

Getting past one obstacle (yay) gets me to the next (boo). Two gcode files, one generated by Easel for the holes, the other generated by FEngrave for the text. The holes came out located exactly as designed. The FEngrave text came out translated too far in the Y axis. It is not a machine problem or work zero problem, it is actually in the gcode.

In the inkscape .svg the bottom of the “UGS PENDANT” text is 0.15 inch from the bottom, but for some reason FEngrave put it 0.55 inch from the bottom, and translated the rest of the text without any distortion that same 0.55 inch in Y direction. Again, this is not a machine problem of slipping pulleys/motor current/loose screws, it is there in the gcode. My poor clamp will never be the same :blush:

@WillAdams thx Will, saw your reply while typing this up. I don’t use F-Engrave directly for text because I am doing a few different cuts on the same piece and need them to all line up together. If there is a straight forward way in F-Engrave to position the text on my work piece, then very cool, but I tend to visualize the overall layout in something like Inkscape.

Where are you setting your origin? In Settings, General Settings check if you have an offset in the y.

I got all excited when I saw @ChrisRice comment about offset in y origin, thinking that it sounds like exactly the right thing, but checking fengrave general settings, it is zero so that’s not it.

@PhilJohnson Thank you for chiming in. I can’t say enough good things about your various posts across the forum helping me, and pretty much every beginner, get our machines running and tuned. My xcarve experience would not be the same without your contributions, thank you!

I understand your origin and image file extents diagram, and it matches when I compare the “bounding box” in fengrave, with the size of a box that I drag to enclose the image content in Inkscape. Those match within a decimal round off. I’m using the default origin in fengrave, and 100% image height (also tried keying in the inch size of the image, comes out same either way).

Here are two screen shots that kinda illustrate the visual difference in that bottom margin. First one is Inkscape, second is fengrave, notice the much larger gap below the “UGS PENDANT” text.

zz top :metal:

Yeah :slight_smile: “ZZ TOP” is my label for “G53 G0 Z0” to move Z axis to highest position (be sure to run a homing cycle before using). Sounds more fun than “Z TOP”.

well…“better” might be relative to the desired result and eye of the beholder. V carve definitely delivers beautiful and artistic pieces. For electronics panels and other utilitarian thin materials, engraving is nice. If I had a laser, that’d be ideal, but lacking that, the engraver works when I get it to line up right.

Here’s a recent project I made using a combination of V carve and engraving. It is a small plaque for my daughter to celebrate a comedy skit she wrote/performed at school, a fake infomercial for a product called Pumpkin Spice that has a long list of nasty side effects. It was done in two cuts. The green letters were V carved. The black letters and pumpkin image were engraved. Graphic design in Inkscape, two separate toolpaths generated with FEngrave (well, three if you include the v carve cleanup), gcode sent with UGS.